Seminars 2018-04-30T15:14:48+00:00

Seminars

Since the mid-1990’s, Hetherington Group has been rated in the top 5% of training events nation-wide. Cynthia Hetherington, Hg’s founder and president, has trained over 60,000 investigators, security professionals, attorneys, accountants, auditors, military intelligence professionals, and federal, state, and local agencies as well as regional and international associations. Classes are offered on location, at conferences, and as webinars. Instruction is always targeted to the specific audience and need. 

All Hg training classes are approved as continuing professional education credits by ACFE, NASBA, DHS, LPF, SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP, and ASIS.

Below are a list of suggested classes that stand alone or can be combined and customized into a presentation that best suits your needs.

Introduction to Online Investigations & Open Source Primer

Every investigation involves, at some level, social media and open source examinations. This introductory class examines the different types of open source and social media platforms and the language of this unique investigative world.

In this introductory hands-on course, participants will learn the types, differences, and jargon of open source investigations. During the training, you will conduct open source research, driven by a case study. Upon completion, field investigators will be able to navigate the Internet and social media platforms for rudimentary online investigations as well as use time and resources more efficiently.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations

Today, investigators heavily rely on computers and Web applications to track down facts and follow leads. This class offers a comprehensive overview of how to conduct an investigation using the Internet and computer software.

In this introductory hands-on course, participants will learn how to in-take an online case, understand the parameters of the work; establish goals; and create investigative notes C.Y.A. (Cover Your Analysts!). We will discuss how to identify expectations and establish parameters for all involved (client, sub-contractor, and your own) at the beginning of your investigation to keep the entire case in check. Upon completion, field investigators will be able to differentiate between the Web and Web 2.0 applications and capture online facts and leads.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations

Introduction to Social Media & Open Source Capture Tools

With new social media platforms coming online at a rapid pace, capturing leads and evidence in social media networks is more complex than ever.This introductory class explores how some best practices can be utilized to capture and save the results you need to report back to your clients.

In this introductory hands-on course, participants will learn helpful tools to help capture and store findings online. Several tools, free and fee-based, as well as sample reports will be reviewed and shared. Upon completion of this course, field investigators will be able to implement documentation procedures for creating sharp and understandable reports.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations

Introduction to Conducting an Ethical Investigation

As investigators, we are governed by foreign and domestic ethics standards and laws.Yet, everyday an investigator, attorney, or accountant appears in the news for crossing the line using the Internet to research, contact, or connect with their target. They find themselves using technology workarounds, finding holes in the system, or outright hacking to gain information.

This introductory hands-on course offers a comprehensive overview of the legal parameters for conducting online investigations. We will discuss current laws, acceptable practices, and pitfalls that can occur in investigations. Upon completion, field investigators will be able to identify drawbacks to taking shortcuts in online investigations, understand the laws and compliance requirements to stay inline online, and garner the resources for staying abreast of current issues and legal requirements.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations

 

Utilizing Advanced Google Searches

The ability to uncover information on the Internet is the primary skill of an online investigator. The go-to resource for many is Google, yet not everyone knows how to utilize its full potential.This class expands your general knowledge of the search engine, making difficult searches more effective.

In this intermediate to advanced hands-on class, participants will learn how to maximize Google searches, as we cover the basics, the hacks, and extra Google resources to create proper search strategies and run advanced Internet searches. Participants will also learn the expert tools of this common search application to make difficult searches more effective. Upon completion of the course, field investigators will be able to hunt down deep web content; conduct advanced search strategies on Google, Bing, and other search engines; and use algorithms for surface finds and open source results.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations, Due Diligence, Background Investigations, Asset Investigations, Risk Monitoring

Utilizing Social Media & Other Search Engine Resources

As an investigator, social media platforms and search engines are important tools for tracking down facts and following leads. This class expands your general knowledge of social media platforms and search engines, allowing you to create thorough reports for your clients.

In this beginner to intermediate hands-on course, we will go beyond identifying targets and locating their social media accounts. Participants will learn how to open every aspect of social media to explore where key information can be hidden or overlooked. You will identify which search engine to use, when to use it, and what results you should expect from each by conducting hands-on advanced Internet and social media searches. We will also evaluate and review several free and fee-based resources on the market for locating unique information and monitoring social media. Upon completion of this course, investigators will be able to conduct advanced search strategies; utilize social media search tools; and incorporate free and fee-based alert services and monitoring tools into their investigations.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations, Due Diligence, Background Investigations, Risk Assessment, Risk Monitoring

Investigating Auction Websites

Conducting asset investigations often requires a keen understanding of how to track down stolen money and property on a variety of Internet sites. Backpage and auction websites—used for human trafficking, drug trade, and terrorism—are two of the many places nefarious criminals conduct their trade.

This intermediate to advanced hands-on class examines how to use important online tools when conducting asset investigations. Participants will learn the ins and outs of auction and illegal sale sites, conduct hands-on searches to track materials stolen or otherwise sold on Backpage, Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, Oodle, gun/auto traders, and others. Upon completion of the course, field investigators will be able to track and locate assets illegally sold on auction, sale, and dark web onion sites.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations, Due Diligence, Background Investigations, Asset Investigations, Risk Monitoring

Advanced Social Media Investigations

Social media platforms are an important aspect of any online investigation. This advanced class is for you, if you hold the skills to conduct cursory searches but want to be on top of your game with the latest search tools for locating and uncovering social media users and their online content.

In this intermediate to advanced hands-on class, participants will learn how to discover intelligence by investigating popular social media platforms and search engines as well as gain knowledge of new social media platforms on the horizon. During the training, you will review social media pages, learn how hashtags and images can play a role in a case, and identify further leads. Upon completion of this class, field investigators will be able to conduct social media investigations using specialized search engines and conduct a CARA Analysis: Characteristics, Associations, Reputation, and Affiliations.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations, Background Investigations, Asset Investigations, Risk Assessment

Removing Your Personal Identifying Information

Everyone is at risk for identity theft, online and physical stalking, and harassment. Beyond social media, your public records are for sale, so your home address and assets are easily located through simple online searches.This course provides a through description of how and where your data is stored and how to remove it.

In this introductory hands-on class, participants will review a case study detailing how a fraudulent and nefarious actor obtains personal identifying information and how it can be used against you. You will learn “Opt Out” procedures for public service and security personnel and explore the tools and methodologies used to operate discreetly on the Internet. Upon completion of the class, field investigators will be able to identify how private lives and public information are available through websites, social networks, and “Invisible Web” sources; and will have the ability to protect their privacy by implementing basic security practices online, at home, and on social media.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations, Risk Assessment, Risk Monitoring
 

Investigating with Public Records & Open Sources

As an investigator, you have the ability to access hundreds of thousands of surface, deep, and dark web sites to gather the intelligence you need when conducting an investigation. This course provides a through description of how and where to find data within public records and open sources.
 
Participants will learn how to conduct investigations using fee-based public records aggregators and media services and learn how to locate free public records and open sources online. Upon completion of this class, field investigators will be able to conduct investigations using public record aggregators such as LexisNexis, CLEAR, Tracers and Transunion TLO and be able to identify which aggregator is most applicable for an investigation based on content, interface, cost, customer service, and data relevance.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations, Due Diligence, Background Investigations, Risk Assessment, Business Intelligence
 

Using Anonymity & Working Undercover

Many social networks and online information sources either allow the subjects of searches to see who has been searching them or provide some fairly obvious clues as to who is looking at their information. This advanced class provides tools for how to work undercover online, while adhering to ethical standards and laws.

In this intermediate to advanced class, participants will receive hands-on training on how to conduct investigations on social media platforms without compromising their online identity, gain tools for working online undercover, and know how to avoid exposure when researching subjects online. Upon completion of the course, investigators will be able to conduct undercover online investigations and ethically protect their identity while conducting investigations.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations, Background Investigations, Risk Assessment

Understanding the Dark Web

Dark Web has the star quality and luster of a Hollywood movie, but in reality, it’s a den of inequity operated by the technically sophisticated. The more “google’ized” we’ve become as investigators and researchers, the less we understand what’s going on behind the scenes and how to operate in this nefarious world.

This class will examine the Dark Web, the channels used to institute private sales and exchanges, and criminal behavior. In this intermediate to advanced hands-on class, participants will gain a thorough understanding of the Dark Web—criminality, anonymity, counterfeit products, child pornography, and human trafficking; learn the directory structures of the Dark Web; and learn Dark Web languages like Tor and Tails and the lingo of this underworld. Training will include exploring dark web channels for content and finding the resources and specialized search engines for searching against Dark Web content. Upon completion of this course, field investigators will understand how to use Tor safely and effectively, while learning the vulnerabilities, and be able to conduct undercover online investigations on the Dark Web.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations, Asset Investigations, Risk Assessment, Risk Monitoring, Business Intelligence

Conducting Online Asset Investigations

Asset searches tend to be connected to every type and form of investigation. This course examines types of asset investigations, how best to leverage the Internet in your investigations, and the legal means to conduct an asset investigation.

In this intermediate to advanced hands-on class, participants will learn the most efficient methods for locating someone or an asset on the Internet. We will discuss the six reasons of when, where, and why to conduct an asset investigation and what resources—both online and offline—are most beneficial for locating leads or content. Additionally, you will learn the pitfalls, allurements, and outright illegal actions to avoid when gathering information. Upon completion of the course, field investigators will be able to legally obtain bank account information and other assets, use social media to identify assets and asset potential, and identify the offerings of illegally obtained asset information.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations, Due Diligence, Background Investigations, Asset Investigations

Search Resources: Unique Search Tools

A good investigator needs search tools that go beyond the generalized Google resource. This course explores new search engine resources and how to properly conduct advanced Internet and social media searches.

In this intermediate hands-on class, we will go beyond generalized Google searches and learn unique search tools specific to investigative needs. Participants will learn new search engine resources and how to properly conduct advanced Internet and social media searches for people, non-profits, and more. We will also discuss how to track down older online material. Upon completion of the course, field investigators will be able to utilize online monitoring alert services, both free and fee-based; identify specialized, subject-specific search engines; and understand how to keep up with new search engines for investigations and research.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations, Due Diligence, Background Investigations, Asset Investigations

Online Background Checks

Meeting new people through social functions, social media, and even dating apps can be exciting.  However, before getting emotionally, financially, or personally involved, it is a good time to check for any fraudulent or criminal past. This course delves into how to conduct thorough online background checks to put your mind or your client’s mind at ease.

In this intermediate to advanced hands-on course, participants will learn the ins and outs of conducting online investigations of an individual. You will be introduced to a plethora of databases, free resources, and techniques for locating a person’s history. Upon completion, field investigators will be able to deconstruct social media profiles for background checks, connect associations between users of social media, and search public records to uncover intelligence to support your cases and help inform your reports.

Sample background reports and a how-to background check guide will be shared.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations, Due Diligence, Background Investigations, Asset Investigations

Advanced Online Due Diligence

Online due diligence investigations examine the backgrounds of corporate entities and the principals who manage them. Regardless of your investigative ability, learning the critical thinking tactics to research and conduct due diligence analyses will enable you to arm your clients with the intelligence they need to make proactive decisions in life and business. This class will explore the databases, Web sites, and Internet resources required to locate difficult information on companies, their assets, and the people that run them.

In this advanced hands-on course, participants will master completing a due diligence report utilizing a wealth of information: public records, legal filings, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, blogs, and open source material. You will utilize the tools and resources needed to find and vet information about companies and their owners. Additionally, we will examine professional fee-based and free tools and resources to understand their functionality and limitations to access all the information that’s out there. Upon completion of this course, field investigators will be able to write reports that emphasize and highlight key findings, identify key resources available to investigators that go unused, find and vet applicant information within keystrokes, and implement handy tactics for conducting online fraud investigations.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations, Due Diligence, Background Investigations, Asset Investigations

Expert Witness Background Checks: Methods and Sources

An expert witness plays a key role in the courtroom. But what if the expert witness turns out not to be an expert at all, but a fraud? This class will explore the open sources, databases, social networks, and public records that can be utilized to verify the real experts from the frauds.

In this intermediate to advanced hands-on course, participants will be exposed to methods and resources used when researching and verifying the background of testifying and consulting experts and their credentials. Using freely available online resources, the class will vet the background and authenticity of the presenting expert to establish or debunk their credentials. Upon completion of the course, field investigators will be able to identify the difference between a testifying expert and a consulting expert; verify, vet, or prove the background and experience of the expert you are establishing; read, analyze, and scrutinize a resume or curriculum vitae for fraud or mistruths; and create follow up questionnaires for interviews or deposition.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Background Investigations, Due Diligence

International Due Diligence and Investigations

International due diligence is vital for business success and management. It can be a straightforward task, if you know how to utilize the right resources from the plethora of information available. In this course, we will review available databases and open sources for a variety of countries to conduct international due diligence and background checks.

In this intermediate to advanced hands-on course, participants will examine sources for information, including the top foreign corporate databases for researching overseas companies and their principals; explore a list of databases serving foreign countries; and acquire global resources helpful for consolidating multiple country searches. Upon completion of the course, field investigators will be able to conduct international due diligence investigations, navigate and utilize social networks in specific countries, and spot indicators to fraudulent practices and shell companies.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Due Diligence, Background Investigations, Business Intelligence

Social Network Monitoring

Often online investigations require more than a surface exploration of social media accounts. This course explores how to open every aspect of social media to locate key information hidden or overlooked.

Updated quarterly to keep investigators at the fore of social media trends, this advanced hands-on course will explore the latest search tools—free and fee-based—popular for monitoring chatter on social networks from Facebook to Burn Book. Participants will learn how to narrow a large profile to identify assets, evidence, and important details quickly and will observe demonstrations of software applications relevant to search applications. Upon completion of the course, field investigators will be able to locate key information, such as friends and associates, in social media profiles and understand the objects to be searched in language (native or foreign), imagery (pictures or emoji) and other relevant intelligence markers such as hashtags and live feeds.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations, Risk Monitoring, Business Intelligence

Introduction to Web 2.0 & Social Media Searches

Investigating social media networks is more complex than it appears. Web 2.0 is an Internet feature which professionals need to understand first and utilize second. This class focuses on using Web 2.0 features to vet hires, conduct due diligence pre-acquisition, prevent competitive intelligence, and identify problem employees before workplace violence or intellectual property theft occurs.

In this beginner to intermediate hands-on course, participants will learn how to utilize social- and photo-network Web sites, mapping tools, and other Internet features used for intelligence-gathering and security assessments. We will discuss the best ways to search social media and how to use the focused social media search engines that identify and uncover social media profiles and their content. Additionally, we will explore how to conduct link analyses of social media profiles and determine how to gather intelligence without breaking the terms of service. We will also look at trending issues in social media that are changing every day. Upon completion of this course, field investigators will understand the difference between Web 2.0 and traditional sites and be able to locate information, document their discoveries, determine how it plays into their cases, and understand how to follow leads.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Cyber Investigations

Proper Media & Open Source Research Tactics

An undeniable amount of background investigations and case research can be developed from newspapers, magazines, trade journals, blogs, and other open source materials. This course will provide investigators with the skills to track and locate critical information needed to complete your cases.

In this intermediate to advanced hands-on course, participants will learn the proper resources for finding key information and developing well-rounded investigations. We will cover professional fee-based tools as well as very useful and handy free resources. Upon completion of the course, field investigators will be able to identify underutilized key resources; determine whether a fee-based or free service is most beneficial to their investigations; and know where the overlap of one aggregated service (news, social media monitoring, and geo-fencing) is at and how to shop and pay accordingly.

All participants will receive handouts on concepts and investigative techniques.

Investigative Areas: Due Diligence, Background Investigations, Business Intelligence